How to Travel Alone and Love It – Especially as a Woman
Like many, I love to travel! It’s in the top three things that I love to do! I travel a lot for fun, but I also travel extensively for work. As a global professional speaker, I travel all over the world to present (which I’m sure you’ve seen on my IG stories). In fact, I’m on a plane almost every week and I have a lot to say about how to stay healthy and well-adjusted while doing this!
Much of my travel I do by myself, which was an adjustment initially, but now I love to travel alone! There are so many benefits to traveling by yourself:
• You can do whatever the f*** you want! You get to design your own adventure, so you literally get to do whatever you want
• You can find your own rhythm. You can travel at your own pace, not feeling rushed to do things or being dragged around at a snail’s pace
• You decide how much money you want to spend on where you want to sleep, eat, and more
• You don’t have to talk to anyone or you can talk to everyone
• You’ll have tons of time for self-reflection and self-growth. Being by yourself can give you a sense of ultimate freedom with infinite possibilities
Given all these benefits (and there are more!), I’m all about traveling alone, but I often do get asked, “How do you do it? How do you travel by yourself all the time?” I know it may feel daunting to have to rely on just yourself while you’re out there in the world, or perhaps you fear being alone for days on end. I get all of this – sometimes being on your own can be nerve-wracking and stressful! There are times when I do feel the loneliness that comes with not having someone there to share the fun things that I’m doing. And there are times I’m concerned about my safety because I’m unfamiliar with my surroundings.
But here’s the thing, with some deep self-reflection and careful planning, even loneliness and fear can be quashed. In fact, there are three key things that you can do to set yourself up for a wonderful time as you get out there to see the world by yourself:
1. Know Yourself
It’s important to figure out what you do and don’t enjoy doing when you’re by yourself. For example, when I’m on my own, I love eating out, going to the spa, and spending time at the beach, so I ensure that I fill my days with these types of activities. Recently, while on a business trip in Asia, I carved out some “me time” in-between client engagements to relax at a resort in Cebu, Philippines. I spent most of my days either at the spa or the beach reading, another solo activity that I love!
2. Keep Safe
As a woman traveling alone, I’m hypervigilant about looking out for myself. There are a few “must do’s” here to keep safe while traveling by yourself, especially as a woman. Do your research when you’re heading to new place so that you have a very good understanding of the neighborhoods you’ll be visiting. I always pick a hotel on a busier street and make sure that I order an Uber or taxi at night rather than walking. Sometimes I’ll skip certain public transport systems depending on the city I’m in. If I’m on an elevator with a group of men, I’ll even wait for them to pick their floors before I press the button for my floor or I’ll wait until they get off before I do.
3. Stay Connected, But Only If You Want To
In moments when you start to feel lonely while traveling alone, don’t forget that you can always leverage technology to reach out to your beloveds – if you want to. A simple phone call, WhatsApp exchange, or email can do the trick. In fact, sometimes I find that browsing through my IG feed is enough to make me feel connected and the best part is that I can decide how much and when I consume. You can also use technology to loop people into your travel experiences. For example, I video-called my bae when I visited the Great Wall of China recently on a solo trip. It was awesome to have him see what I was taking in, even if it was through a screen!
If you’re thinking about embarking on a solo vacation, I encourage you to do it! Not only is it fun, it’s probably one of the best ways to get to know yourself and understand what you care about. And an added bonus – you’ll get to return back to your life at home feeling rejuvenated and inspired!
What do your self-care practices look like? After today, what will you do to carve out time for yourself?